Over the last 10 years, Nihat Özdemir has grown Limak at astonishing speed. Özdemir says that the success they have achieved is a result of making correct forecasts and making the right choices in terms of sectors. "Our target is to work efficiently and be influential in the sectors in which we are active and to grow by increasing capacity and by making acquisitions," he says. Özdemir, who plans to make investments of $1 billion every year, has two dreams: The first is to be one of the 10 leading companies in six different sectors in Turkey and the second is to achieve the same success abroad. We spoke with Limak Holding Board Chair Nihat Özdemir about the group's performance over the last 10 years.
You have grown very rapidly over the last 10 years. To what do you owe this?
- Our rapid growth can be attributed not only to our success in tenders but also to our effective forecasts regarding infrastructure. The correct investment decisions and correct conjunctions have supported our growth. But most important of all is our choice for investments of sectors which are growing rapidly. When you look at the last 10 years, it has been the energy, construction, cement, air transportation and tourism sectors which have
always recorded high-growth. Of the six sectors in which we have invested, five are amongst the fastest growing sectors in Turkey.
When was your most important turning point in terms of growth?
- For Limak, the most important turning point was entering the cement sector in 2000. We evaluated the privatisation tenders very well here. Later we began our investments in energy and airports. We used the experience had acquired in contracting in these fields. Today our group comprises 70 companies
employing 20,000 personnel. Our turnover has risen to $2 billion. This year, our new investments will enable us to grow by 20 percent and reach $3 billion.
How has the breakdown of your revenue changed at the last 10 years?
- Of course, there have been important changes. The most important is that until last year construction was still our number one sector in terms of turnover. But from this year onwards the balances in our group will change. Energy, cement and airports are growing rapidly. At the moment, 35 percent of our turnover comes from construction and 20 percent from energy. But this rate will change rapidly in favor of energy. In 2013, energy will definitely overtake construction and become our number one business.